Are Chatbots The Future of Real Estate?
by Shawn Parrotte of Designli
The real estate industry is continually evolving as new technologies are introduced to assist agents. One such technology that is revolutionizing the future of real estate is the chatbot. A chatbot is an artificial intelligence program which has the ability to interact with potential customers. There are many ways in which chatbots can benefit the future of the real estate industry, and it will not be long before companies realize their potential.
Future Buyers Will Be Tech Savvy
As more millennials reach adulthood and begin searching for properties, the value of chatbots will continue to increase. Millennials have been noted for their willingness to embrace technologies, and chatbots are no different. In today’s world, communicating through text and chat has become the norm, and therefore it is no surprise that millennials are comfortable communicating in this way. Furthermore, as the younger generations begin to interact with chatbots more regularly, reservations about their reliability will subside.
Chatbots will Continue to Evolve
There has already been an insurgence of artificial intelligence based chatbots, such as Google’s Home and Amazon’s Alexa. This technology is rapidly evolving and the chatbot’s response system, which is based on NLP and Deep Learning techniques, is continually improving. Engineers are striving to make the conversational tone that artificial intelligence bots use as humanlike as possible so that users will have no idea they are speaking with a chatbot. As developers discover more ways to improve chatbot interaction, there is little doubt that the role that bots play in our lives will expand significantly in the future.
The Future will be Data Heavy
Real estate agents rely on an array of data to match customers with properties that match their criteria. With so many variables, it can be difficult to process this information in an exhaustive and efficient manner. As technology figures to be more prominent in the future of real estate, the need for accessing large amounts of data will only increase. A chatbot is able to utilize data from massive datasets, almost instantaneously, and make decisions accordingly. This can benefit the real estate industry in several ways.
- Chatbots can Determine the Value of Data – Chat transcripts can contain important data which can be very useful in determining the habits of buyers. Chatbots can use advanced algorithms to search all the data from a chat log and extract any information that it deems important for converting a lead.
- Chatbots can Create Profiles of Prospective Buyers – Creating a profile for a prospective buyer gives real estate agents a starting point for conversion. By asking specific questions, chatbots can help gain insight as to the needs of a potential customer. For instance, if a buyer is searching for a house with two bathrooms, a chatbot can store this information, and present the customer with properties that match their requirements.
- Decreases Labor Costs – Chasing leads can take up a considerable amount of time, which in turn, increases labor costs. If a real estate company wishes to have representatives available 24 hours a day, in the hopes of converting more leads, it will be forced to increase the number of employees, therefore pushing labor costs higher. A chatbot can reduce labor costs by eliminating the need for customer service representatives.
- Reduces Time Spent on Leads that Do Not Convert – Real estate agents can spend a significant amount of time trying to get a potential customer to make a purchase. If these customers do not pursue a purchase, there could be a lot of money wasted. By having a chatbot interact with customers, there is no need to worry that a lead will not convert, as there are no additional costs involved.
Early Movers will have the Advantage
There are sure to be some obstacles to overcome as chatbots become more prevalent in the real estate industry, and those who begin harnessing this technology early on will have an advantage over those who wait. While there may be some adjustments to make after this technology is implemented, with the chatbots unequivocal ability to extract important data and make conclusions, real estate companies will immediately realize the benefits of using artificial intelligence, and those who choose the disregard this technology will be left behind.
Combining the Power of Chatbots and Social Media
Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have drastically changed the way people exchange information, therefore, it is no surprise that chatbot developers have begun to combine the power of each of these technologies. With chatbots being integrated with social networks, they have access to a wealth of information that could better help clients find the property they desire. Users of social media often post pictures and comments that contain personality traits, and as the capabilities of chatbots increases in the future, they will be able to make assertions based on these traits.
While a certain level of human interaction is required in the real estate industry, there is no doubt that in the future chatbots will play a significant role. As users become more comfortable interacting with artificial intelligence based bots, and their capabilities are recognized, more companies will seek assistance from chatbots. If you are in the real estate business, utilizing this technology while it is in its early phases could put you at a distinct advantage.
Shawn Parrotte is the Marketing Manager of Designli, a software development agency specializing in delivering certainty to the world of custom mobile and web applications.